Master Your Message for Maximum Impact

Want a really powerful means of bringing your audience onside and making sure they’re 100% behind you? This step in Presenter-Pro is one of the most powerful methods you can use to influence people, not only in presentations but throughout almost any aspect of communication.

One of the early steps in structuring a persuasive presentation is to identify your audience’s concerns, particularly as they relate to the solution you’re proposing. There will be obvious concerns and hidden, underlying concerns. Uncovering and understanding these concerns is the first step to structuring your presentation.

Bridging the Logic Gap diagram

Filling the logic gap with a benefit.

The second step is to establish answers to their concerns – ways in which your solution will render their individual concerns moot. This is where the “Logic Gap” comes in.

Your responses to your audience’s concerns must contain a benefit that LINKS directly to their concern. The benefit to must be blatantly obvious. It must be DIRECTED TO your audience and you should LOCK in the benefit and their acceptance of it by asking them if they are satisfied.

In other words, make sure they accept the benefit and ask whether they have any questions or further concerns. Do this after each major point you make.

Let’s look at an example.

PROBLEM/SOLUTION: Let’s say your company needs a means of allowing staff to put on more elaborate and effective presentations. You’ve proposed a medium-priced “multimedia” room – a boardroom with a built-in screen, VCR, DVD player, etc.

CONCERN: One concern might be the ability to use the room without extensive training. “It’s too complicated technically.”

COUNTER: You identify the fact that it’s got a single interactive computer screen that’s simple to use. To support this, you plan on having an example screen on hand to demonstrate the ease of use.

THE LOGIC GAP: Some of your audience may be thinking, “But what if I’m totally computer illiterate? Technical stuff makes me just plain nervous!” You need to give them a strong benefit that will affect them directly.

“LINK” THE BENEFIT: “You only have to push three buttons to be in complete control or call this three digit number and we’ll have a technician to set it up for you. Either way, you’ll look like a technical wizard.”

“LOCK” THE BENEFIT: Ask your audience whether they’re comfortable with the solution or whether they have any further concerns about the new system.

To summarize: Each major point you make in your presentation must contain a direct benefit to your audience that has an emotional impact on them. And you must make sure to ask whether the benefit outweighs their concern. Do this for every point and you’ve built a very powerful and persuasive argument that your audience will buy into. By the end of your presentation, they’ll be totally onside.

Bridging the “Logic Gap” is one of the most important steps to master in developing a presentation that is persuasive and influences change.

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